HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — State regulators say that Connecticut Light & Power‘s request to raise consumer costs by more than $230 million should be cut nearly in half.

A draft decision issued Monday by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority reduces the amount sought by the utility by more than $100 million.

The company sought the increase in electric distribution rates in part to recover costs associated with major storms in 2011 and 2012. The amount the company was able to seek had been reduced because of penalties for issues in preparing for and restoring service from Tropical Storm Irene and a snowstorm in October 2011.

The utility has defended the rate request for capital improvements in equipment and systems.

The company was seeking to hike customers’ fixed monthly distribution charge from $16 to $25.50. State Attorney General George Jepsen told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau he believes that fee should not be raised at all.

“The reason I don’t like that is it falls hardest on those who can least afford it, so I think it should have been kept at $16,” he said. “And we’ll be arguing to that effect when we go before PURA in the coming weeks.”

The increase will go before PURA’s commissioners for a final vote on Dec. 17.

Last month, state regulators approved higher standard service rates for Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating. The cost of natural gas has been rising due to limited pipeline access.

For customers of CL&P, a subsidiary of Northeast Utilities, the residential generation rate increases to 12.6 cents per kilowatt hour from about 10 cents. A customer who uses an average 700 kilowatt hours would pay $88.40 a month, up about $18.

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